Examining the family context and relations with attitudes to school and scholastic competence

Melissa R W George, Kalsea J. Koss, Kathleen P. McCoy, E. Mark Cummings, Patrick T. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The importance of family relations in children's adjustment has been established, but questions remain about the contexts that account for these associations. Examining children's reactions to family stress holds promise for advancing our understanding of the relations between attachment and school-related outcomes. The present study examined children's attachment, basal cortisol, and emotional reactions in 235 community families, to understand contributions to children's attitudes to school and scholastic competence. Children's attachment security and normative basal cortisol both contributed to positive school outcomes, while insecurity in the context of low or high cortisol and emotional distress related negatively. Findings highlight the importance of examining stress in family contexts to advance the understanding of children's school functioning, with implications for school mental health interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-62
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in School Mental Health Promotion
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010


  • Attachment
  • Child adjustment
  • Cortisol
  • Emotion
  • Family relations
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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